Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm, Inc., 514 U.S. 211, 5 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 211 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

"(1) which was dismissed as time barred subsequent to June 19, 1991, and

"(2) which would have been timely filed under the limitation period provided by the laws applicable in the jurisdiction, including principles of retroactivity, as such laws existed on June 19, 1991, "shall be reinstated on motion by the plaintiff not later than 60 days after December 19, 1991."

On February 11, 1992, petitioners returned to the District Court and filed a motion to reinstate the action previously dismissed with prejudice. The District Court found that the conditions set out in 27A(b)(1) and (2) were met, so that petitioners' motion was required to be granted by the terms of the statute. It nonetheless denied the motion, agreeing with respondents that 27A(b) is unconstitutional. Memorandum Opinion and Order, Civ. Action No. 87-438 (ED Ky., Apr. 13, 1992). The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. 1 F. 3d 1487 (1993). We granted certiorari. 511 U. S. 1141 (1994).1

II

Respondents bravely contend that 27A(b) does not require federal courts to reopen final judgments, arguing first that the reference to "the laws applicable in the jurisdiction . . . as such laws existed on June 19, 1991" (the day before Lampf was decided) may reasonably be construed to refer precisely to the limitations period provided in Lampf itself, in which case petitioners' action was time barred even under

1 Last Term this Court affirmed, by an equally divided vote, a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that held 27A(b) constitutional. Morgan Stanley & Co. v. Pacific Mut. Life Ins. Co., 511 U. S. 658 (1994) (per curiam). That ruling of course lacks precedential weight. Trans World Airlines, Inc. v. Hardison, 432 U. S. 63, 73, n. 8 (1977).

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